I would never define myself as a writer. I’m just an ordinary woman juggling marriage, motherhood, and teaching rambunctious preschoolers.
Someone recently asked me, “What was your life like before your diagnosis?” This is a very loaded question and one I haven’t thought about. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t really remember. Everything is a blur. There are bits and pieces I can recall, like feeling confident that I had nothing to worry about, to experiencing a mammogram for the first and last time. I remember dreaming of starting a family, and furthering my college education. I remember the unusually warm March we had. Normally there is a foot of melting snow mixed with mud blanketing the ground. But there I was lying on a beach towel in my backyard, letting the hot sun brown my white skin. This random day actually led me to call my doctor. The discomfort I felt while lying on my stomach that sunny afternoon was a reminder it was there. This led to an appointment two weeks later with my breast surgeon for whom I had seen two years previous because of the same lump. I was told then that it was a clogged duct, but if it was still there in six months to come back. Well, there I was 2 years later with the same lump, same size, but this time a more aggressive approach was being taken. My surgeon suggested we remove the lump because of my family history and the fact it was still there. (My grandmother had passed away from breast cancer at the age of 49, and my aunt was just diagnosed with breast cancer). I remember thinking, ”all this fuss over a pea sized bump is just precautionary”. I remember feeling nervous about the surgery more than the fear of it being cancer. My medical past consisted of a broken wrist and three stitches in a finger when I was five, so facing surgery for the first time at the age of 29 was a new experience in my world.
But once that phone call hit my ear and I heard the word “cancer”, life stopped dead in its tracks. And from that moment on my so called “normal” life was replaced by my new reality. I was instantly paralyzed by fear. And the course of my life quickly took a sharp turn down a road called “Why…me”?